The beautiful state of Idaho provides anglers a unique array of fishing waters. From large reservoirs to small winding rivers, Idaho provides fisherman opportunity to chase trout, bass, panfish, walleye and sturgeon among many other species of fish. Following are ten of the best angling waters in the state.
CJ Striker Reservoir
This 6,759-acre body of water sits in the southwest corner of the state just south of Boise. The reservoir plays home to a wide variety of fish species, making it a popular destination. Fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, a variety of trout and various salmon species as well. This is a great family spot as a variety of camping spots and recreation opportunities await guests on the CJ Strike Reservoir.
Located just west of Boise near the Oregon border, this 8,829-acre lake is a bass fishermen’s haven. This reservoir brings in a lot of anglers that target the big largemouth bass that call Lake Lowell home. The lake also is home to many other species including brook trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon. Bow fishing for carp has also become popular on the lake as well. Many camping opportunities exist around the area as well.
This body sits right on the western part of the state along the Oregon border. The reservoir is a dammed up portion of the Snake River and the body sits at 13,000 acres and stretches over 50 miles long. Many access points exist along the parks along the reservoir. Brownlee has many popular game fish including panfish, largemouth bass, catfish, trout and smallmouth bass. Fishermen flock to Brownlee to chase the active smallmouth population, an extremely fun fish to catch along the whole stretch of the reservoir.
One of the largest bodies of water in the state at over 27,000 acres, this body sits on the western side of Idaho north of Boise. Lake Cascade is a popular family spot with many great camping opportunities around the lake. It is also a heavy lake for recreation from jet skiing to water skiing. But, the fishing opportunities are great as well for bluegill, crappie, perch, bass, salmon and trout.
This body sits just over 1,000 acres and is in the very southern portion of the state just north of the Utah and Nevada borders. The Oakley Reservoir is a popular destination in Idaho because it is one of a very few bodies of water where fishermen can chase walleye. Other species with abundance in the lake are perch and rainbow trout. The state record walleye came out of the Oakley Reservoir in 2009.
Swan Falls Dam
A relatively small body of water at only 470 acres, the Swan Falls Reservoir sits in the central portion of the state in the canyons just outside of Kuna, Idaho. The main attraction on this body of water for anglers is the smallmouth bass population. Catfish are another popular species with panfish and sturgeon opportunities also existing.
This river flows all the way through the state of Idaho as a branch of the larger Columbia River. Many tributaries and branches exist in the state and fishermen flock to the river for the many fly fishing opportunities. Rainbow and elusive brown trout are the usual prey of anglers. The pure beauty surrounding the river throughout the state makes it a great fly fishing getaway.
Little Salmon River
Located in the northwest portion of the state, this tributary of the Salmon River winds through the most beautiful part of the state. Anglers chase rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout around the winding river and shore fishing opportunities with a fly rod are plentiful on the Little Salmon River. The Little Salmon River stretches about 51 miles along the western portion of the state.
Big Wood River
This river is a 137 miles long stretch of water that branches off the Columbia and Snake rivers. The Big Wood River runs through the central part of the state and the serenity and scenery around the river are breathtaking. The trout fishing on the Big Wood is spectacular and anglers flock to the river in the summertime to chase rainbow, brown and brook trout by fly and casting.
Sitting just outside of Garden Valley, Idaho in the west-central part of the state, Silver Creek is a fly fisherman’s paradise. The area surrounding Silver Creek is known as Peace Valley, and one trip there can easily show why the name holds true. Brown and rainbow trout are the preferred species to chase in the creek. Tourists also flock to the area for hiking and birdwatching adventures in the area surrounding Silver Creek.